Arizonan Tapped To Lead Bureau Of Reclamation

Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 12:50pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 2:00pm
Will Stone/KJZZ
After 19 years of drought and increasing demand, federal water managers project a 52 percent chance that the river's biggest reservoir, Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam, will fall low enough to trigger cutbacks under agreements governing the system.

President Donald Trump’s administration tapped an Arizonan to lead the agency whose water projects shaped the western United States.

If confirmed, Brenda Burman will serve as commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, a division of the Department of the Interior.

The more than 100-year-old agency is responsible for projects such as the Hoover Dam, power plants, water conservation and managing partnerships with Native American tribes.

Burman is presently the director of Water Strategy at the Salt River Project, which delivers water and power to more than 1 million Arizonans.

SRP was one of the bureau’s first major projects in 1903.

This would be Burman’s second stint at the bureau. She previously served as deputy commissioner in the George W. Bush administration.

Arizona Sen. John McCain said in a statement that he supports her nomination.

“Brenda Burman is highly qualified to be the commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation and I am proud to support her nomination. Brenda brings a wealth of knowledge on federal water policy and drought conditions in the West forged through years of service at the Department of Interior and as legislative counsel to former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, one of the nation’s foremost experts on federal and tribal water law. I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to swiftly confirm her nomination.”

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